Gini Rairigh fretted that her mobility issues could force her to leave the home in Perris she’s lived for 38 years.
The 88-year-old artist who specializes in floral paintings has trouble walking uphill and up the stairs leading to her front door, which presented a challenge each time she left her home. Doctors warned Rairigh she might need knee-replacement surgery and she worried what would happen to her two beloved dogs if she had to move out.
She’s not worrying any more.
Thanks to the City of Perris’ Senior Home Repair Program, Rairigh can stay in her home, paint in her backyard studio and use the newly installed ramp paid for by the fix-it program to get in and out of the residence. Rairigh also received grab bars and low-flow toilet fixtures to help her save water.
“This is wonderful,” Rairigh said from inside her home in the Indian Hills section of Perris. “I could not have asked for anything more. It’s a beautiful improvement. I’m amazed.”
Rairigh thanked Perris housing division employees Rebecca Miranda, Stacie Dain and Luis Natera for working with her through the entire application and building process. Start to finish took just two months.
“I would have gladly waited six!” she said.
The Perris Housing Authority is accepting applications for the Senior Home Repair Program, which makes up to $10,000 in a one-time grant to make minor health and safety improvements in your home. Those include minor roof repairs, installing ramps, handrails or grab bar, heating or air-conditioning replacement, smoke detectors, minor electrical and plumbing repairs and repairing or replacing broken steps.
Eligible residents must be at least 62-years-old, occupy the property as their major residence, meet HUD income requirements and live within the City limits. The property must be a single family, conventional detached home or a mobile home/manufactured home with current California HCD Certificate of Title 6. Interested residents are asked to contact the City of Perris Housing Authority at (951) 943-5003 ext. 496.
City employees Dain and Natera dropped by Rairigh’s home recently to check up on things and gauge her response.
Natera said he will check in with the contractor about installing a second ramp at Rairigh’s back door to make it easier to access her back yard.
“We hit this project right on the mark,” he said. “We are glad to make the needed improvements that elevate the quality-of-life for our senior citizens.”
Dain said the program allows the City to connect with its citizens in a way that’s rewarding and uplifting.
“It’s great to be able to touch their lives on a personal level,” she said.